PL2EM-Experimental Methods in Language Sciences

Module Provider: Clinical Language Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Mr George Pontikas


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces students to experimental methods in language science research. This will include work on the design, data input, data analysis, and interpretation of the data. The module will provide an introduction to the most widely used methods used to collect data from typically developing children and adults, as well as individuals with language impairment. This will include production, comprehension, and judgment tasks. Students will prepare a small scale study individually or in groups and will write a report. The module will provide students with the tools that will enable them to design their own empirical study.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
• a range of experimental methods that are widely used in language sciences research, including production, comprehension, judgment methods for children and adults;
• advantages and disadvantages of each method;
• appropriateness of each task for the target group;
By the end of this course, students will be able to demonstrate that they can:
• design an experiment;
• control for psycholinguistics factors;
• write an administration protocol;
• develop a scoring scheme;
• input experimental data onto excel spreadsheets;
• write up a methodology section.

Additional outcomes:
The module also encourages the development of academic writing. Students will also develop their bibliographic and IT skills by use of indicated resources.

Outline content:
Overview of experimental methods in language sciences; introduction of a range of widely used production, comprehension, and judgment paradigms; comparison between the tasks, advantages and disadvantages depending on the group of participants, research questions/hypotheses; particular considerations for each task, such as number of trials per condition, using control, filler items, controlling for confounding factors; data input and analysis using excel pivot tables; writing a methodology section.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures with back-up seminar groups based on prepared practical work and reading and involving structured group discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Project output other than dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
3000 word project output to be submitted in the Summer term.

Formative assessment methods:
1000 word report of design and experimental material (group work or individual work)

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination by August / September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 June 2018


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